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Religious Tolerance logo

NEWS ITEMS AFFECTING GAYS AND LESBIANS

2003 - OCTOBER to DECEMBER

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News of 2003-OCTOBER:

bullet2003-OCT-10 (approx): VA: Governor, legislators reject discrimination: Neither federal nor Virginia state law prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Equality Virginia, Log Cabin Republican Club of Virginia and the Virginia Partisans Gay & Lesbian Democratic Club, issued non-discrimination pledges to all 140 General Assembly members (40 Senators; 100 House members), to the governor, and to other members of the executive branch. Nearly half have responded positively, pledging that will not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation in hiring personnel for their offices. David Lampo, president of the Log Cabin Republican Club of Virginia, commented: "Our state is certainly more culturally conservative than other states. We always knew that but even in Virginia, 21st century values are starting to work their way down to the grass roots. If you see greater acceptance of gays and lesbians in the culture, it will become more routine to live and work with gays and lesbians. We are just a much more inclusive society than we were 10 years ago." 1
bullet2003-OCT-27: NY: Baptist church to hold anti-gay demonstration: The Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) from Kansas -- sponsors of the GodHatesFags.com web site -- plan to hold a protest outside Mepham High School in Bellmore, Long Island, NY this day at 7 AM. They claim that school officials are promoting homosexuality and that this led to same-sex activity at a preseason training camp among junior varsity football players. Their web site states that they will "...picket the sodomite whorehouse masquerading as W.C. Mepham High School, Bellmore (on Long Island), New York....in religious protest/warning: 'God is not mocked!' God Hates Fags! & Fag-Enablers! Ergo, God hates Mepham High & Bellmore-Merrick CHSD for teaching kids -- 'It's OK to be gay!' " David Kilmnick, of Long Island Gay and Lesbian Youth,  says that the WBC advertises itself as preaching God's word. However, they are only spewing a message of hate. The youth group is organizing a counter-demonstration. Some parents of Mepham High School students are planning to form a human chain of silence at the school. 2
bullet2003-OCT-22: FL: Private Christian school expels gay student: A teacher at Jpiter Christian School allegedly asked student Jeffrey Woodard, 18, whether he is gay. He answered "yes." A school official allegedly called Jeffrey's mother, Carol Gload, and said that he could not attend a school retreat unless they met with school officials to discuss Jeffrey's sexual orientation. According to Gload, the school said that Jeffrey had three options: to get counseling for his "problem," resign from the school or be expelled. Gload said: "I didn't think Jeffrey needed therapy. So when I explained he doesn't need help for anything, he knows who he is, they ... expelled him." Wollard is now sueing the school. Karen Doering, of the National Center for Lesbian Rights in Tampa, FL, said: "Unfortunately, in the state of Florida, discrimination based on sexual orientation is not specifically prohibited by any law. When it comes to public schools, it is clear the Constitution protects youth based on sexual orientation; however, that does not apply to private schools." 3
bullet2003-OCT-30: Anglican Church of Canada is under extreme stress over same-sex blessings: The internal stresses in the Anglican Church of Canada over equality for gays and lesbians is threatening to cause a schism. The main conflict is over the blessing of same-sex committed relationships. The bishop of the New Westminster diocese in British Columbia has authorized such blessings. These are not actually church marriages as is often reported in the religious and secular media. These are merely blessings; no rings are exchanged; no civil registration is made. In recent weeks:
bulletSeven dissenting conservative congregations in the diocese of New Westminster BC announced that they want to leave and form their own diocese. Bishop Ingham estimates that only 5 to 10% of the diocesan membership has aligned themselves with the breakaway parishes. The dissenting congregations estimate 25%
bulletSeven priests in the New Westminster diocese face charges of disobeying the bishop and contemptuous conduct causing scandal.
bulletA Yukon bishop, Terrence Buckle, faces disciplinary action for allegedly interfering in the New Westminster diocese by offering to supervise the seven dissenting congregations.
bulletA priest in Niagara, ON, had his license to perform marriages revoked after he took part in a same-sex blessing.
bulletA priest in Toronto ON was publicly admonished by his archbishop for performing a same-sex blessing.
bulletBishop Don Harvey of Newfoundland stated at a meeting of Canada's Anglican bishops that he couldn't stay in the Anglican Church if the blessing of same-sex unions became a national church policy.
bulletAnn Tottenham, one of only two women among Canada's 35 bishops, recalls a past time when bishops threatened to leave the House of Bishops if women were considered for ordination. She said: "We should stick around no matter what foolishness the Anglican Church gets up to....I felt the church has been wrong on this [denying blessings to same sex couples], but I haven't gone lurching off in a huff. We need bigger reasons to stay together or to leave." 4 More details
bullet2003-NOV-2: NH: Gene Robinson's consecrated as bishop: The consecration ritual was held in Manchester, NH. About 4,000 people -- including 47 bishops -- participated. Police patrolled the area outside the arena, where some protesters were present. Some of the latter held up signs stating: "Homosexual: Abomination to God; Lev[iticus] 18 Lev 20," "Stop perversion. No Dean or Robinson Communion," and "God burned Sodom and Gomorrah; Genesis 19." From the Reuters news photos, the protestors looked quite grim and angry. Two clergy publicly objected to the consecration during the ritual. 5 More details
bullet2003-NOV-11: LA: Seven-year old punished for using the word "gay:" Marcus McLaurin was waiting for recess in the Ernest Gaullet Elementary School in Lafayette, LA. A fellow student asked him about his mother and father. He explained that he has two mothers, because his birth mother is gay. When the other student asked for a further explanation, Marcus said "Gay is when a girl likes another girl." A teacher overheard the conversation, and sent him to the principal's office. He was disciplined for using the "g" word; it is apparently considered a swear word in that school. He was ordered to come to school early during the following week and write repeatedly "I will never use the word 'gay' in school again." The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a complaint, asking that the case be removed from Marcus' file and that the school apologize to the student and his mother, Sharon Huff. She said: "I was concerned when the assistant principal called and told me my son had said a word so bad that he didn't want to repeat it over the phone. But that was nothing compared to the shock I felt when my little boy came home and told me that his teacher had told him his family is a dirty word." 7
bullet2003-NOV-14: TN: Seen in a letter to the editor column in a Tennessee newspaper: "The actions taken by the New Hampshire Episcopalians (INDUCTING A GAY  BISHOP) are an affront to Christians everywhere.  I am just thankful that the church's founder, Henry VIII, and his wife Catherine of Aragon, and his wife Anne Boleyn, and his wife Jane Seymour, and his wife Anne of Cleves, and his wife Katherine Howard, and his wife Catherine Parr are no longer here to suffer through this assault on traditional Christian marriages."
bullet2003-NOV-18: MA: Massachusetts Supreme Court rules in favor of same-sex marriage:  The Massachusetts Supreme Court became the third senior state court to rule in favor of same-sex marriage. Courts in Alaska and Hawaii had earlier done this, but had their decisions eventually overturned by constitutional amendments. Chief Justice Margaret Marshall wrote for the majority: "Barring an individual from the protections, benefits, and obligations of civil marriage solely because that person would marry a person of the same sex violates the Massachusetts constitution." Governor Mitt Romney (R-MA) promises to try to amend the constitution to restrict marriage to one man and one woman. More details. 6

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References:

  1. Joe Crea, "Nearly half of Va. politicians sign on to pro-gay pledge. Gov. Warner supports non-discrimination effort by gay groups," Undated; Washington Blade, at: http://www.washblade.com/
  2. "Anti-gay protest to be held at Mepham H.S.; counter-rally also scheduled," News 12 Long Island, 2003-OCT-20, at: http://www.news12.com/
  3. "Gay student sues Christian school for expelling him," Associated Press, 2003-OCT-22, at: http://www.miami.com/
  4. Leslie Schrivener, "Gay marriage tears Anglican church asunder," The Toronto Star, 2003-OCT-31, Pages A1 and A18.
  5. Richard Ostling, "Consecration of cleric ignites controversy and protest: The new gay bishop. Move threatens to split Anglican church worldwide," Associated Press, The Toronto Star, 2003-NOV-3, Page A1 & A3.
  6. Tim Harper, "U.S. court lifts gay-marriage ban," The Toronto Star, 2003-NOV-19, Page A3.
  7. "Boy Punished for Talking About Gay Mom ," EarthLink, 2003-DEC-1, at: http://start.earthlink.net/

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Notice:

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. sec 107: The news items contained in the above hyperlinks are provided without profit by the Ontario Consultants for Religious Tolerance, Suite 128, 829 Norwest Rd., Kingston ON, Canada, K7P 2N3, and are intended to be available to anyone interested in the topics included, for educational purposes only. Any editor, author, Webmaster, writer, publisher, news service, etc. that objects to being part of this listing may request that future works be excluded. We will also attempt to delete previous entries from the same source.

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Site navigation: Home page > "Hot" topics > Homosexuality > News > here

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Copyright © 2003 by the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2003-OCT-13
Latest update: 2003-DEC-2
Compiler: B.A. Robinson

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